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    Diesel Techncian Society

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  1. Air Management Failures

    From EGR systems to turbochargers and after treatment components air management has plagued modern diesels and perplexed technicians. Here we will take a look at some of the things that prevent these diesels from breathing properly and cause a lot of driveability concerns.
  2. Fuel Additive Bottle Caps

    We have heard of this unfortunate and easy to make mistake. You want to take care of your truck and use products that can help promote good fuel quality and system integrity which includes a variety of fuel system additives. Typically these products come in small bottles that have caps containing a coated cardboard disc inside of the cap intended to provide a seal. Apparently these discs are not adequately secured to the cap and may remain stuck to the top of the bottle. If you are not observant and begin pouring your product into the fuel filler of your truck and this seal is stuck to the top of the bottle it may come loose as soon as the liquid begins to flow taking the cap into the fuel tank along with it. So what you say and there is probably all sorts of junk floating about inside you fuel tank? Well, there have been many reports of 2011 and newer Super Duty trucks that have been stopped in their tracks when these seemingly harmless discs get pulled up against the fuel pick up causing a restriction resulting in low fuel pressure and an engine stalling event. When this happens there will be a loud whining sound coming from the fuel supply pump and a low fuel pressure warning on the instrument cluster. This condition will likely be an intermittent and random concern making it very difficult to verify and diagnose therefore you should keep this in mind. And for the vehicle owner reading this, remember to look at your additive bottle before pouring. It just may save you and a technician some headaches.
  3. Oil And Water

    Whoever said that oil and water don't mix has never made mayonnaise or experienced a 6.0L with a failed oil cooler. As the title implies, this collection of images show what happens when something goes wrong with oil and water and diesel engines.
  4. Fuel System Failures

    Over the years we have encountered many fuel system problems ranging from rusty tanks to evolving fuel systems that had many quirks not to mention a variety of owner induced and fuel quality concerns.
  5. Working Clean

    Taking care to protect engines and their components from contamination and damage is an important part of performing effective repairs and reducing additional and repeat failures. This means that as a technician you should always consider working clean and take reasonable steps to protect vital vehicle assemblies and systems from foreign objects, dirt and debris, water or cross contamination of fluids. The first thing to consider is your work environment. Are you working outdoors where there is a lot of dust in the air or where weather can be a factor? Even indoors we need to consider where work is being performed. Working near a wash bay or next to other technicians or equipment where dirt can be blown around for example are all possible sources of contamination.Before beginning work that will open the engine or the fuel system inspect the engine and clean off any oil, dirt and road debris than can fall into the engine or components. Fuel systems require extreme care because even the smallest contamination can have serious affects. Removing dirt from connections also means cleaning off any paint chips that break off of fuel lines and fittings when using tools. It is recommended to use electrical contact cleaner for fuel system cleaning as it will leave no residue - residue that could be considered contamination as fuel system clearances are extremely close. Follow with compressed air and cap all fuel injector, fuel pump and fuel line connections immediately. How you clean and the materials you use also require thought as some methods can introduce harmful abrasives that will damage bearing surfaces and other moving parts. Using aluminum oxide cleaning disks such as the popular 3M Roloc disks are one such source of this type of contamination. Scrubbing pads that can leave behind fibers. Wire wheels will leave behind small metal strands. The best options for scraping gasket materials is to use appropriate scrapers which include metal, brass and plastic types. Always plug oil, fuel and coolant passages. Tape off open areas or use other effective methods to prevent gasket and sealer material from getting into the engine. There are many options to use for capping and covering. Pictured above is a collection of caps and plugs saved from new parts after installation. This is a great way to build up a collection so you always have a selection to chose from. There are also commercially available caps kits and most manufacturers supply them as special service tools. Remember to keep all of your caps clean as dirty caps and plugs defeat the purpose. Pictured below are some examples of special plugs, caps and covers however something as simple as masking tape or painters tape is quite effective.
  6. Cavitation Erosion

    Crazy good article!
  7. DEF vs. Diesel Fuel

    Have you ever wondered what happens when a diesel fuel system is contaminated with diesel exhaust fluid? The damage occurs quickly and can be extensive! Diesel Exhaust Fluid or DEF, is a solution of 32.5% high purity urea and 67.5% deionized water used in the selective catalyst reduction system SCR to reduce NOx emissions. The fluid is very corrosive and it's affect on fuel system components is devastating: premature high pressure pump and fuel injector wear, debris, pitting/corrosion, distortion of materials, plugged fuel injector return line. The images in this article are of a 2011 F350 equipped with a 6.7L Power Stroke diesel engine that had an unknown amount of DEF poured into the fuel tank by accident and the truck was driven. The high pressure fuel pump actually seized while the engine was running subsequently cracking the HPFP housing in the process. As a result the HPFP drive gear which is driven by the camshaft gear sheered the key and spun on the shaft. Unfortunately the crankshaft drive gear which is shrink-fitted onto the crankshaft also spun when the pump locked up affecting base engine timing. At this point the engine was headed for total failure with the crankshaft and camshaft now effectively un-timed. Piston to valve contact rendered the cylinder heads, all 8 pistons, half of the 32 push rods bent and several rocker arm carriers broken and unserviceable. Let's take a closer look: Left, one of the first things is to take fuel samples from the fuel conditioning module and at the engine. This fitting was disconnected from the engine mounted fuel filter and given time to allow for the creation urea crystals. On the right is the primary fuel filter that was removed also to check for the presence of DEF. The resulting crystals are the proof of DEF contamination of the fuel system. The next two things a technician should remove and inspect are the fuel pressure regulator and volume control valves. These also need to be given time to allow crystals to form and also to inspect them for signs of corrosion and rust which also can identify water contamination as well. Here both components have developed some significant crystal growth over several days verifying that the DEF had indeed made it's way into the engine's high pressure fuel system. Here is the seized Bosch 4000 high pressure fuel pump. Internal damage caused it to lock up. The torque from the running engine split the case. Note the DEF crystals in the crack. On the right is the front gear train with the large camshaft gear on the top and the crankshaft gear below with the red arrow pointing to it. This is the gear that is shrink fit onto the crankshaft that moved when the HPFP locked up. The pump is mounted on the top front of the engine and driven by the camshaft gear. (It is not shown in the image) With the engine un-timed the pistons contacted some of the valve. On the left are some bent push rods. The force of that contact was also enough to break a few of the valve rocker carriers. Each cylinder has one carrier assembly for all four rocker arms and the assembly on the right is broken in two.
  8. General Mechanical Failures

    Regardless of how good or unreliable any engine proves to be there will always be some failures. With millions of engines produced some patterns have become evident but there are also the random and odd failures that make things interesting.
  9. Electrical Problems

    Lectricity you say? You can't see it but it is there and Power Stroke diesels won't run without it. Harness problems, sensors and modules but work together in harmony to achieve positive results. What you are about to see may be shocking!
  10. Article Management

    This video shows off some of the user interface you can expect to see in the article management area of the ACP.
  11. Promote to Article

    Learn how to use the new "Promote to Article" feature to copy a post to the articles section.
  12. Latest Topics

    This video shows how to create a latest topics block, showing the full post, and then adding that block to a new page.
  13. Threadlocker

    Applied as a liquid or gel, threadlocker are superior to conventional lock washers, nylon inserts, and other mechanical devices because they secure the entire fastener assembly against loosening from shock and vibration. They work by filling the space between threaded metal parts, curing to form a tough, adhesive bond and seal. They also seal the threads against leakage, preventing rust and corrosion. Threadlocker is not something we all consider as much as we should. How many times have you observed someone installing a fastener without thread lock compound when it is required? How many times have YOU reinstalled a bolt that had traces of threadlocker on the threads without reapplying the appropriate product before reassembly? Some of the most common fasteners that require thread lock include steering shaft bolts, brake caliper bolts, brake caliper bracket bolts and body and cab bolts. A good rule of thumb is that when you remove a fastener with threadlocker it should be reinstalled with threadlocker re-applied or the fastener should be replaced as specified by the manufacturer as typically stated in service manuals. The reason a manufacturer would require a new fastener with a pre-applied threadlocker is to ensure it will actually be on the fastener, in the correct amount and in the correct location. LOCTITE® offers this free download: Threadlocking_Guide.pdf PERMATEX® offers this video on threadlockers:
  14. Block Heater Cord Corrosion

    In areas like the Mid-Atlantic states where rock salt is used to control icing on the roads corrosion is a big problem for cars and trucks. This is an extreme example but it illustrates how corrosion can occur within wiring which is more common and usually undetectable. Corrosion here can cause a block heater to simply not work or cause a circuit breaker to trip. In theory it is also possible for fire to result. You can help reduce the likeliness this type of failure by inspecting your block heater cord thoroughly especially at the plug end at the front bumper annually. Packing the plugs and lightly coating the electrical terminals at both ends of the cord with Motorcraft Silicone Brake Caliper Grease and Dielectric Compound (Part Number XG-3-A)or equivalent will help prevent water, salt and dirt from leeching into the wiring where corrosion can occur.
  15. Coolant Air Lift Tool

    A coolant airlift tool is a pneumatic cooling system refill and testing tool that has become a necessity for Ford diesel engine servicing and diagnostics. Using the Venturi effect, it employs compressed air to create a vacuum that is applied directly to a vehicle cooling system. This tool is available from a few different manufacturers and the basic design and use is virtually identical between brands. An internet search for "coolant air lift" will provide many sources from which you can purchase one from. The image on the right is an example of the tool. Make sure that the tool you chose comes with several rubber adapters as the universal cone is not always the best choice on some applications. Eliminate cooling system air locks An air lock is air trapped in a high point or a pocket in a cooling system. These pockets can restrict coolant flow and create hot spots within an engine by preventing heat transfer from metal to the coolant. Entrapped air can also create pressure variations and surging within a cooling system. The 6.4L Power Stroke engine in Super Duty trucks has shown us some examples of how air entrapment can affect the cooling system. System pressure surging has been identified as the cause of radiator tank seal failures. Overall system pressure variations also are believed to encourage coolant cavitation behind the water pump impeller that causes cavitation erosion of the front engine cover. To use an airlift to refill a cooling system, assemble the tool and place it on the degas bottle following the instructions that came with the tool. Pre-mix your coolant and fill an appropriately sized container and place the airlift siphon tube into the container with the pick-up screen at the bottom. Verify that the siphon valve is in the closed position. Connect a shop air line to the airlift and begin the process by pressing and holding the air trigger and observe the vacuum gauge. Continue to pull a vacuum until the gauge stabilizes reaching a minimum of 20" of vacuum. The radiator hoses may collapse which is normal. Next, turn off the compressed air and open the siphon valve. Coolant will be drawn into the cooling system until completely filled. After removing the airlift tool you may need to adjust the coolant level in the degas bottle. Install the degas bottle and run the engine to full operating temperature and system pressure. Inspect for leaks. Allow the engine to completely cool and adjust the coolant level to the cold fill marks on the degas bottle. Below: filling a 6.4L Power Stroke cooling system with a coolant airlift tool. Vacuum testing checks for system leaks The airlift tool can also be used to test cooling systems for leaks. Ford recommends this procedure for testing EGR cooler integrity before any engine disassembly as it can detect very small leaks or eliminate unnecessary removal or replacement of a good EGR cooler. Similar to the fill procedure the airlift tool is used to apply vacuum to a cooling system with no leaks and the engine cold. The gauge should reach a minimum of 20" vacuum or more and once a maximum vacuum has been reached and has become stable the air trigger should be turned off. At this point the gauge reading should be noted. A good test is when the system vacuum holds steady over 15 minutes. A bad test result is when system vacuum decreases or fails to initially reach a minimum of 20".